From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 2nd Sunday in Lent

Hi everyone,

It was good to see so many of you out at our Lunar New Year Luncheon this afternoon!  If there is ever a reason to get together to eat, hang out, and just be together, you better believe that we’ll take it!  And man alive am I ever full!  (not sure about my kids though… they were busy playing their games to really pay attention to the food that they were served…)

That is pretty much most of what our kids do these days.  They spend the bulk of their time watching videos, playing games, or watching their siblings watch videos and/or play games.  And when they aren’t in front of a screen they are asking if they can be in front of a screen.  It really is almost enough for me to pull my hair out.

I sometimes want to yell at them, telling them that they are lucky that they even have access to such technology.  I sometimes want to drill it in their heads how fortunate they are to live in this part of the world where they don’t have to worry too much about material things.  I sometimes just want to confiscate all their electronic doodads and tell them that they just don’t deserve them because they aren’t disciplined enough, they aren’t obedient enough, and they certainly aren’t focused on anything other than their screen enough to even be close to earning the privilege of having said screens.

But then I think, do I deserve it?  There are times when I tell my kids that they need to take a break from all the screens, only to have them ask me why I’m still using my phone or playing a game.  There are times when I see how obsessed they are with videos and games and realise that maybe they learned it from me.  There are times when I stop and think about it and see that maybe I don’t deserve it very much at all either.

And that just makes me appreciate them all the more!  As hard as it is for me to try to change my kids’ lifestyle that now revolves around screens, I know that is all the more difficult to change mine.  Rather, I want to focus on the positives that these undeserved blessings give us, in that it was through videos that Ryan learned how to read, Wesley realised his love for cars, and Kaylie practices her sweet dance moves.  Deserving or not, they have them, and it can very much be a positive thing.

Here are next week’s readings:
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Psalm 22:23-31
Romans 4:13-25
Mark 8:31-38

Granted, they didn’t have screens back in biblical times, but they did have blessings, they did have promises, and they did have learning how to look at life differently.  Abraham (or Abram at the time) didn’t exactly do anything to deserve God’s blessing, rather God decided to bless Abraham out of the goodness and grace of God’s own heart, knowing that it will help Abram in his new life to come.  God promises us all redemption and forgiveness, and by very definition we don’t deserve that at all.  And Peter, with his foot yet again in his mouth, learned that God’s ways don’t always look the same as our ways.

But God blesses, God promises, and God acts anyway.

Even when we don’t deserve it, God blesses.  Even when we don’t believe it, God promises.  And even when we don’t understand, God acts.  And when God does these things, it is out of grace, mercy, and love.  Which, incidentally, are more things that we may or may not understand.

But thanks be to God! For none of these things depend on us, but on the richness of God’s character, forever welcoming us and holding us as God’s beloved children.

Have a great week everyone!

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